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Meet Douglas, the self made actor in Uganda’s Second Chance

Douglas Sebamala is an actor, poet, singer, fashionista and a writer who recently came up on the entertainment scene for his role in NTV’s Second Chance as Simon. He fought his way up through handwork and self belief for the best. He started acting way back in nursery school where he first realized his talents after being told to replace someone who was absent. It is from here that he realized that he can actually act given the fact that he performed this excellently having rehearsed in one night.

When did you get serious with acting?

In primary school, I kept up with music dance and drama. I found it easy because I didn’t have to put a lot of effort. In secondary school at Kitante Hill it’s when I participated more in writing and I remember I won prizes for best writer of the year. I also participated much in essay competitions. My first play in high school was Redemption, then did School for scandal. I grew so much in acting because there was so much room to act. In S3, I performed ‘Destitutes’ for the Queen of England and I felt like she was pleased with what I had done. The more I acted, the more I wanted to do it and I used to pray to God to help me realize my dream earlier.

When was your first audition?

My first audition was in 2010 when I auditioned for a film to be shot in Rwanda but I didn’t get the role. In 2011 I auditioned for Beauty for Ashes by Irene kulabako and got the role as Charlie. I did more stage production. I also played Lenox in The tragedy of Macbeth, then Claudio in Much a do about Nothing in 2015.  While acting in these plays I realized I could also sing since I had acted in a musical called Greace in 2014.

How did you end up in Second Chance?

At the end of 2015, I auditioned for second chance and I was lucky to get the role as Simon. I knew God had answered my prayers. I got to realize that Simon is a stubborn boy yet I am not but I had to dig up a stubborn character in me, so I chose to do a character that is Simon but a little bit different from the original one in the play. I appreciate this role because it has brought me to the center stage; at least people know what I can do. I go to places and people recognize me. I have also learnt to get to act some characters that are way the opposite of who I am.

What is the difference between stage plays and films?

With stage, the actions are exaggerated and while on film, it is much more relaxed, you don’t have to put much expression. And then there’s radio plays like Rock Point 256 where I also have a role and this is more of words but you have to make sure the tone is at its best.

Have you pursued any acting classes?

I haven’t gone to school for acting because I find it natural in me to act. I only went for a training session. I actually did Journalism and Communication at campus.

What do you think of the film industry in Uganda?

The main issue is that people act one film and disappear after that.  People haven’t appreciated the industry so much so those who aren’t so passionate will give up easily.

What else do you do apart from acting?

I am a writer at Daily Monitor and I also design clothes. I actually do wear my own clothes. I do sketches and take to the tailor for sewing. I started this when guys would ask me where I got my clothes from and told them they were my ideas and would ask for the exact clothes. That is how I started making and supplying on order. And next year, I am planning to release my collection.

Do you have any role models?

I don’t have any but I am working on being a role model to young people myself. On the other hand growing up I always admired Ryan Seacrest. That’s the closest to a role model I can think of for now. He inspires my love for production.

Are you in a relationship?

Hmm, I am seeing someone but we are exclusive. I respect relationships so much and probably may settle not so soon but at least it’s in my mind.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be on the road to Hollywood in that time and I plan to bring reality television to a serious point in Uganda.

Simon (R) with some of his colleagues in Second Chance

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